Philippine gov't surpasses 3% fiscal deficit target in 2018
The Philippine government has exceeded its fiscal deficit target in 2018, the Bureau of Treasury said on Friday.
In a statement, the BTr said that the national government's budget shortfall reached P558.3 billion, 3.2 percent of the gross domestic product last year.
The deficit slightly exceeded the 3 percent full-year target by P34.6 billion.
The government generated P2.850 trillion revenue, surpassing the target by P3.9 billion, last year.
Government spending, however, reached to P3.408 trillion.
BTr explained that the government exceeded the revenue target despite the shortfall in the tax collection due to strong non-tax revenues.
Tax collection hit P2.566 trillion, 4 percent behind the program, while non-tax collection contributed P284.3 billion, exceeding the goal by 68 percent.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue failed to achieve its revenue target collection by 6 percent to P1.952 trillion, while the Bureau of Customs exceeded its revenue target by 2 percent to P593.1 billion.
Meanwhile, the 2018 disbursement has broken consecutive years of underspending with a 1 percent variance over the P3.37 trillion spending program, BTr said.
It attributed higher spending on infrastructure, social protection, and higher personnel services due to the pay increase for both the civilian, military and uniformed personnel, as well as the improved fill up rates for teaching positions in the Department of Education.
"Of the total disbursements, 90 percent went to primary expenditures while the remaining 10 percent was for interest payments," the Treasury said. Celerina Monte/DMS